Troubles are all a part of life; it’s something that no one can escape. If you are alive, then you have problems. So with that in mind, what can we do about it? Should problems just hit us as we passively take them or are there some action steps in dealing with these challenges?
To answer these questions let’s look at an example from Yahshua in Mark 4:35-41. The passage reads, “And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, what manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
First consider where Yahshua and His disciples were. It reads that they passed over to the other side. The other side of what? We know that they were in a boat and their destination according to Mark 6:1 was the country of the Gadarenes, which is called Gadara. Therefore if you reference a map of the area, Yahshua and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee. This is not surprising, since Yahshua used this sea many times during His ministry to travel to the various cities in the area.
Continuing on in the passage, a great storm came upon these men so much so that the disciples thought they were going to sink. Most of the disciples of Yahshua were fishermen. Simon Peter, Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother were all fishermen by trade.
Luke 8:22 says that Yahshua was in the boat with His disciples, so at least one of these men in the boat with Yahshua must have been a fisherman. Fishermen are used to dealing with the sea and the storms that come upon them, so this must have been a really huge storm for these men to panic under such conditions.
Fearing for their lives, they woke Yahshua from His sleep. Yahshua, waking ever so calmly, said, “Peace be still,” and the storm ceased. He then responded to His disciples by saying, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Yahshua could not understand why they were so afraid. He was with them, so they ought to have had faith that everything was going to work out okay. He rebuked them for their lack of faith and trust in Him.
The disciples in these verses faced a literal storm, a physical danger. Now we may not face an actual storm like these men, yet I would say that we are all going through some metaphorical storm right now, represented by a trial or trouble we are having to weather. Perhaps it’s finances, relationships, health, job, or some other part of life troubling us.
Also, we all face the looming storm of evil that is attacking our freedoms and morality in this country. We have our own problems that we face daily, and then we have to feel the crushing weight of things seemingly getting worse day by day with violence and wickedness increasing while morality is decreasing.
These are serious issues that should not be downplayed, yet focusing so much on these is not the solution. Stressing too much on the storms we face can lead to a lack of faith. It did for the disciples and it can for us, too. We are not exempt from falling into this pattern.
It all comes down to what we focus our energy and thoughts upon. If we can change our focus then we can stop worrying so much about what hits us in life and more about trusting in Yahweh.
Realize Who Is in Your Boat
What can we do to keep our trust in Yahweh? We can remember who is in our boat. The disciples were in the boat with Yahshua, the son of Yahweh, who was given authority from Yahweh Himself. With one word Yahshua could have called a host of angels to His and the others’ aid. And even if one of these men had fallen out of the boat and drowned, Yahshua had the authority to bring him back from the dead.
Don’t forget what Yahweh can do, and what Yahshua can do through Yahweh His Father. Because this same Yahshua who was in this first century boat is the same One who is with us through the good and bad in our lives. We don’t need to go at our problems alone. We have a Heavenly Father and a Savior there for us. In Romans 8:35, 38-39, Paul spoke these words of the love of Yahweh and Yahshua toward us.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword…for I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of Yahweh, which is in Messiah Yahshua our Master.”
When going through troubles, focus on His power, His Word, and His promises. The promises He made to us are throughout the Bible:
• Psalm 50:15 reads, “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”
• Psalm 34:7 says, “The angel of Yahweh emcampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”
• Psalm 103:17 tells us, “But the mercy of Yahweh is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.”
This is just scratching the surface of the promises He makes to us, which are true and sure. It can bring great comfort in knowing that Yahweh is there for all of us.
Trust and Believe
Looking back at the scene of Yahshua and His disciples in the boat, the second thing the disciples needed was trust and belief in Yahshua. If they would have looked at Him, seen Him for who He was, and then believed, they would not have panicked.
Thinking about the promises of Yahweh and what He can do are amazing, yet it is incomplete by itself. It must be combined with belief and trust that He can do these things and that He truly is the most powerful being in the universe.
Without this faith, this belief in Yahweh, it is impossible to please Yahweh, according to Hebrews 11:6. If we want to please Him, we must believe.
The Israelites coming out from Egypt were constantly plagued by unbelief. Despite the fact that they saw the plagues in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the manna falling from heaven, and many more miracles, they still lacked faith.
Hebrews 3:12, 16-19 speaks of unbelief: “Take heed brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living Elohim…for some, when they had heard did provoke, howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
You see, it goes back to where our focus lies. The Israelites could not get past this and were always eager to complain about what they were going through. They could have looked to Yahweh for help, and for salvation, but instead were too caught up in their problems.
Now because you remember that Yahweh is with you and you believe that He can do all things, does this mean that you will not face any more troubles? Of course not. The Bible says that in the coming tribulation many saints will be killed for their convictions.
Life is filled with unfairness. It seems that those who do wrong get away with what they’ve done, while those who try to do what is right are continually beset with challenges. If you look at it just from where we are now and the perspective of this time, then yes, things can be drummed up as being quite bad at times.
Keep hope and keep your trust in Yahweh because though life may be challenging, Yahweh will set all things right in the Kingdom. If you keep your mind on the eternal, the life where things will last, then it is easier to handle the problems in this life.
Yahweh’s Work for Good
No matter what happens or has happened to you, Yahweh does this for a reason. Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love Elohim, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
We must believe this to be true, that Yahweh works out the bad things for good to those that love Him. It doesn’t say that it will be easy, or that difficulties are fun, but everything will work out in some way whether it is in this life or in the life to come. But for this to happen we must love Yahweh, we must trust in Yahweh, and we must believe in Him fully with all our heart, soul, and mind.
Yahweh can do all things. He has allowed trials to come into your life, and He can make them go away. No matter what happens, we need to keep our faith in Him.
In the book, The Hiding Place, author Corrie ten Boom speaks about her imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps as she helped save many Jews from imprisonment and death. While she was in the camp, she and her sister, Besie, got moved to another building that was infested with fleas.
Corrie was frustrated with the situation, but her sister kept reminding her of the passage in 1Thessalonians 5:16 about rejoicing in everything. Corrie, though, could not find any way to be thankful for the fleas.
While in this new building Corrie and Besie started to speak about the Good News from the Bibles they had hidden from the guards, reaching many of the women and giving them hope. Typically the guards would not stand for such activity, especially one that was religious, yet these guards did not bother their meetings. They continued on, yet still wondered why they were given this strange treatment.
As time passed, Besie got sick and had to be moved to the camp hospital. Corrie, wanting to visit her sister, sneaked through the camp and into the hospital. Besie was overjoyed to see Corrie and had even more exciting news of her own. Besie had found out why the guards left them alone and gave them the freedom they had in that building. It was because of the fleas. The guards didn’t want to get the fleas on themselves and so they stayed away.
If that’s not a story of good coming from a terrible situation then what is?
Let’s use these lessons to guide our thoughts and actions and to keep our focus off of everything that is going wrong and to think on Him who can make things right.
Don’t ignore problems, just take action according to your belief and faith in Yahweh rather than reacting with fear and frustration
by Joel Wirl